Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES Date: November 12, 2018 Guest: Cheri Bustos, Kirsten Gillibrand, Ruben Gallego, Kendra Pierre- Louis, Liam Dillon
CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: Thanks for being with us. "ALL IN" with Chris Hayes starts right now.
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CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Tonight on ALL IN.
SEN. BILL NELSON (D), FLORIDA: Rick Scott isn`t interested in making sure every lawful vote is counted.
HAYES: The recount is on.
ANDREW GILLUM (D), GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE, FLORIDA: I demand that every vote be counted in this process.
HAYES: As Democrats keep gaining power.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I didn`t know what happened.
HAYES: Tonight, the latest on the recount in Florida, the latest big loss for Republicans.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I know they didn`t have to be unsafe.
HAYES: Then, as Michael Cohen visits D.C. why another Trump world figure is saying that Robert Mueller will indict him. Then Trump takes another rain check. Instead of honoring American veterans --
TRUMP: Maybe I should cancel this arrangement because I have a bad hair day.
HAYES: Plus, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand on her 2020 thinking. And the latest on the massive wildfires in California.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The chickens are coming home to roost.
HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.
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HAYES: Good evening from New York I`m Chris Hayes. Breaking news at this hour. NBC News now calling Kyrsten Sinema the apparent winner in the Arizona Senate race beating her Republican opponent Martha McSally. McSally has just in the last few minutes conceded to Sinema. Democrats have now flipped to Senate seats in Nevada in Arizona or Republicans flipped three seats with one outstanding seat left in Florida. That`s a net gain for Republicans of only one or maybe two Senate seats in an election, let`s remember. The GOP had a truly massive advantage.
Democrats going into Election Day had to defend 26 seats in this election including five in states that voted for Trump by 19 points or more. Republicans by contrast only had to defend nine seats and yet despite that huge edge, the Republican Party only managed to make minor gains. And as for that Florida seat, well the recount is in full swing in both the extremely close Senate race and the governor`s race in that state despite the fact that state election officials keep saying they have seen no evidence of fraud, Trump, Rick Scott, and other Republicans have been lobbing baseless charges of fraud and criminality against Democrats and election officials.
The president even suggested today that outstanding votes from military personnel living abroad should not be counted. This, of course, coming two days after he canceled a visit to a U.S. military cemetery in France because it was raining. Today, a Florida judge who said he`d seen no evidence of wrongdoing told lawyers in his courtroom that enough is enough.
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JACK TUTER, CIRCUIT CHIEF JUDGE, FLORIDA: I am urging because of the highly public nature of this case to ramp down the rhetoric.
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HAYES: Much more on the recount in a moment, but first, more good news for Democrats this time in the House. This afternoon NBC News called California`s 49th District for Democrat Mike Levin. With that race decided, Democrats have now gained 31 seats in the House and a massive swing that could get bigger since 10 seats are still undecided. Among the race is yet to be called by NBC news is the seat now held by Republican Dana Rohrabacher which the A.P. projects will go to his Democratic challenger Harley Rouda.
Rohrabacher who Politico dubbed Putin`s favorite congressman is, of course, a staunch Trump ally who served 15 terms and who won his Orange County District two years ago by 17 points. Here to talk about all those outstanding races including latest breaking news, MSNBC National Political Correspondent Steve Kornacki. I`m so glad we have you here right now because we -- our studio desk really just called the Sinema, Arizona race. What`s your reaction to that?
STEVE KORNACKI, MSNBC NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. I mean, we can see this coming from the last few days. I mean, last week some of the -- there`s a batch of votes there that put Sinema ahead in that race. The Republicans had been saying the way they count these votes, the late- counted ones are going to be the ballots that people dropped off on Election Day and those would -- those would skew Republican. It turned out once our own Vaughn Hillyard did the math there that the Election Day vote in Maricopa County which is more than half of Arizona had actually been won by Sinema. And once that became apparent that that was the case, there really was no path for McSally so it`s been inevitable since then.
HAYES: So there`s huge implications here for balance control of the Senate in terms of what the margin is in that Senate, what it actually looks like and what that means for 2020. It also to me just a seismic political change in the state of Arizona and Maricopa County. I mean, when you say to me like think of ironically conservative places in America. Maricopa County which elected Joe Arpaio year after year after year is one of those places I think of. They provided the margin to Sinema.
KORNACKI: And go back even a little bit further, Barry Goldwater, Mr. Conservative Arizona, you know. And look, the Democrats did manage when Bill Clinton got reelected in 96 to carry Arizona. In some ways they`ve had their eyes on this state for a while. But look, in 2016, Trump still managed to carry Arizona by about 3.5-four points but it`s one of those you know, suburban areas in the Sun Belt. You could say around the Phoenix area, around the Dallas area, around the Houston area, around the Atlanta area. I think that might be one of the new shifts that we saw.
We saw a lot of suburban areas in the north in the Midwest in 2016 turn against Trump. I think we`ve seen progress for Democrats in suburban areas in the Sun Belt. I think that might be one of the new developments of 2018.
HAYES: So one of the other -- let`s talk about the outstanding House results because it`s crazy. We still got ten on the board, right? One of the -- one of the other iconic conservative places in America for decades has been Orange County. That`s where Dana Rohrabacher is from and a number of other of Congress. So far, since Election Day, there`s been four seats called for Democrats, one for Republican and there`s still ten outstanding. But those California races generally looking pretty good for Democrats of this hour.
KORNACKI: Yes. And this is the pattern in California. We see this in the primary, we`ve seen this in past general elections. There`s a long lag on counting all the votes. You can mail it in up to Election Day, they will still count it. It can take weeks, it can take up to a month, but the late vote returns and counts tend to favor Democrats in California. And say you`re already seeing the 10th District, getting a little further north from Orange County there, but the 10th District with Jeff Denham the Republican incumbent, he`s down 3,000 votes right now, the trend not favorable to him there. The 21st district are getting into sort of the inland empire here, Bakersfield, Fresno, that kind of Fresno County --
HAYES: And that was not on people`s radar screen as much as the other ones.
KORNACKI: And I should say we still have that called. Our decision desk still has that call for David Valadao, the Republican incumbent, but the margin is getting real tight there with some votes left. You could look at Mimi Walters in 45, you could look at this open seat in 39. There`s the possibility that the bulk of these California districts we`ve been talking all year are going to break to the Democrats in the end of this thing.
HAYES: Yes, we could end up in the you know, ballpark of 38 seats strong.
KORNACKI: I think yes, I get up to 39 without -- yes, you could get to 39 I think very conceivably to Democrats.
HAYES: All right, Steve Kornacki, thank you so much for that. Joining me now from Broward County, Florida, Ari Melber Host of MSNBC`s THE BEAT with Ari Melber. Ari, I`m so glad you`re down there. All right, let`s start. What is the latest out of Florida on the recount?
ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: The bottom line of the recount is the count is going on. So I was back behind me in that supervisors building --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Fake news! Fake news!
MELBER: -- and we basically have seen a lot of energy including still some people around here tonight. But the recounts are continuing. So what you basically have is a process where the machine counting is going to continue until Thursday. And if the deadline at Thursday shows that it is within a quarter point, then you get into that manual recount which is even more crucial, Chris.
HAYES: So you`ve got -- you`ve got -- you`ve got the automatic recount mandated by the state that`s happening in all the counties right now and that`s a machine recount and the big question it seems right, is whether the big under-voted Broward County where a lot of people left that Senate race off whether that was a machine error or not, right?
MELBER: That`s right. And so this is the big thing that people will remember. It`s similar but not the same issue as the 2000 and the hanging chads, but it`s all about, Chris, whether it`s meant to say something through their ballot and the machine didn`t read it and that`s where it becomes so critical. We are in a democratic stronghold in Broward County, people who follow Florida politics know that. So the thinking is that if you get real close and you get to that hand recount, you might find a bunch more Democratic votes. I will tell you though that the Democrats that I spoke to, the lawyers and other people working on this, they`re not super bullish. They think they`re getting closer, they don`t think that necessarily. They`re about to turn this around this week.
HAYES: Now, is there pending -- you know, there`s been a lot of litigation back and forth and my understanding is when you sort of put all that aside, there`s nothing -- it is essentially proceeding right now as the law mandates have proceeded.
MELBER: I mean, that`s such a great point because there`s so much noise and drama not just from people agitating the way it was in 2001 when Roger Stone was organizing grassroots protests. Now, we have a president who`s making baseless lies about voter fraud that doesn`t exist that a Republican-appointed judge didn`t find. And yet to your point, Chris, everything is proceeding right now, I can say, according to the state law mandates which say you have these several days when it`s this close to do a recount and they`ll move forward from there. And the one ruling that we have gotten on governor Rick Scott`s attempt to cease voting machines was rejected. They said no, we`re not seizing the voting machines, we`re going to keep counting.
HAYES: The final question, just the folks who`ve been there and we`ve been watching footage of the sort of circus outside the Board of Elections for lack of a better word. What is that scene like and what are those folks there to say?
MELBER: Well, you`re looking at footage we took earlier today. I was out there with these folks and I will say it was a mix. I spoke to some people who had their thoughtful critiques and were informed, some former candidates, some people who were quite articulate MAGA representatives making their case and having a back and forth. I also interacted with people who were more rude and harsh, some people who refused to shake my hand, and I`ll tell you without bigotry because that`s not my thing, I could tell you that a handful of people addressed me in ways that were hateful and totally obscene. So it runs the gamut.
If I were -- if I were ballparking which is so important, you`ve been out there reporting as I have, the majority of people I interacted with were Republican-affiliated protesters and they were perfectly respectful and civil. But the circus scene at times has gotten wild as some of the louder folks have used bullhorns and have limited physical interactions as well. We`ve seen some of that.
HAYES: All right, Ari Melber, I`m so glad you`re down there and thank you for staying with us tonight. I really appreciate it.
MELBER: Thank you, Chris.
HAYES: I want to bring in Congresswoman Cheri Bustos, Democrat of Illinois who was running for chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Also with me Democratic Pollster and MSNBC Political Analyst Cornell Belcher. Congresswoman, so we`re now looking in the range of 36 to 38, 39 seats for Democrats, what`s your -- if just say what`s the one big lesson you`ve taken away from election night, what is it?
REP. CHERI BUSTOS (D), ILLINOIS: I think it`s that you show up, you listen, you work hard, and you have candidates that fit their districts like a glove. I want to say congratulations to my good friend Kyrsten Sinema who will be the next Senator of Arizona. She`s an example on a statewide level of somebody who listens, who cares, who is relatable. And for a Democrat to win in Arizona statewide it just shows you, if you`ve got the right candidate with the right work ethic, if you`ve got the resources to get your messaging out, we can be successful, and she`s one example. In our 30-plus districts and maybe as many as 39 as you reported earlier, show that we did a pretty darn good job of making sure that our candidates fit their district and we did so much right this election cycle.
HAYES: Cornell, it`s interesting. Congresswoman talks about candidates hitting the district, you know, a lot of these fights end up being about ideology where people place on the spectrum and you see a lot of these battles fought about that. But it did strike me that candidate quality really does matter and you see it in a lot of these races in a lot of the numbers. What do you think of that?
CORNELL BELCHER, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, first, let me say you know, congratulation to the Congresswoman. You all did a fantastic job of recruiting and building infrastructure and hopefully will continue to stand up that infrastructure across the -- across the country because the DCCC really did expand the map in a way that quite frankly we haven`t seen done in a long, in a long, long time.
On the candidate`s front, what I think is most interesting here, Chris, is that you see a lot of candidates who do not look like typical candidates for Senate or Congress, and I think if you look at the energy I think you know, 32 we -- you know, we had a 32 percent increase and turnout this year which is a tremendous amount of increase. You know, a lot of these new people, a lot of them women candidates and you look at sort of our the gender gap advantage that Democrats took here, a lot of these new candidates that they recruited that fit these districts helped bring that energy.
But we also have to underline the Trump effect here and act -- we can`t act like we didn`t get this opportunity because so many particularly women and better-educated voters across the country as well as minorities were really upset and wanted to put a check on Trump this election.
HAYES: Congresswoman, it`s going to be -- a record number of women serving United States Congress even though it`s still nowhere near 50/50 parity as the country is. And a bunch of people come from all sorts of backgrounds. There are several candidates of color African-Americans who are representing majority white districts. It`s going to be a very interesting mix. How do you see this new coalition working?
BUSTOS: Oh I think it`s going to work absolutely great. You threw out there women of color. Let me -- let me also recognize Lauren Underwood who won in a very tough district that nobody even thought was in play in my home state of Illinois. I`m so proud of her.
BELCHER: And my client.
BUSTOS: You know what, you did a great job, Cornell. Well, you did a great job with her. She`s going to be an amazing member of Congress. I mean, look at people like Elissa Slotkin, Abby Finkenauer, Cindy Axne, Katie Hill, I hope Katie Porter, I hope she`ll be able to pick it up. We have these amazing women all over the United States who in many cases self- selected, decided that on their own they were going to run. And so, Cornell, I appreciate the shout out to the DCCC and saying we did such a great job at recruitment, but there were many candidates who watched what happened in November of 2016 and said I`ve got to do something about this. And Lauren Underwood was one of those candidates and I`m just -- I think we`re going to have an amazing freshman class and we`re going to get some amazing things done.
HAYES: You know, Cornell, on that point, right, one of the lessons to me here is don`t think ahead of who is a right candidate for -- I mean, they`re -- one of the things that we see is people defying expectations. I mean, even when you look at Stacey Abrams in Georgia where she`s maybe heading towards recount or a runoff, she still outperformed the last Democratic gubernatorial candidate by 200,000 votes in Georgia.
BELCHER: I mean, it`s not even -- it`s not even close. But to that point, because I want to encapsulate something here, you know, Trump continues to narrow the Republican Party. Look, we are in a toss-up in Georgia, a traditionally red state. We just flipped a seat in Arizona, again a traditional state. The West is -- you know, state by state which we flipped Nevada in 2008, Colorado and now -- and now Arizona. And where Republicans did well are traditional Republican states.
Democrats are on the March and they -- with new candidates and a new energy here and we are making inroads in Republican places that if you`re a Republican thinking about 2020, I think you have a tougher map now than I think Democrats do.
HAYES: I think they`re tougher map than it looked in 2016. That is for sure particularly with the news out of Arizona. Congresswoman Cheri Bustos and Cornell Belcher, thank you both.
BUSTOS: Thank you, Chris.
HAYES: Breaking news tonight in the Mueller probe. One of the Trump world figures connected to Roger Stone and WikiLeaks tonight is saying he is about to be indicted. Ken Delanian and has a new reporting on that next.
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JEROME CORSI, ROGER STONE ASSOCIATE: I fully anticipated the next few days I will be indicted by Mueller for some form or other of giving false information.
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HAYES: Breaking news tonight from Mueller probe, Jerome Corsi, the far- right conspiracy theorist and associate of Roger Stone announces -- you just saw there -- that he will be indicted on perjury charges or expects to be. NBC News reported last month that Mueller had obtained evidence suggesting course might have had advanced knowledge that the e-mails of Hillary Clinton`s campaign chairman John Podesta have been stolen and handed to WikiLeaks.
This comes on the same day that former Trump fixer Michael Cohen showed up in Washington D.C. reportedly meeting with Mueller`s team and at least eight prosecutors on Mueller team were reportedly in the office today hard at work on this federal holiday. Here to put today`s developments all in context NBC News Intelligence and National Security Reporter Kendall Dilanian and MSNBC Contributor Natasha Bertrand Staff Writer at the Atlantic. Ken, what do we know about the Corsi situation?
KEN DILANIAN, NBC INTELLIGENCE AND NATIONAL SECURITY REPORTER: Well, Corsi he has told our own Anna Schecter and as you saw there, he said on his radio program today that he expects to be indicted. He was told by Mueller`s investigators that they are going to indict him for perjury. And I think it goes back to that story you saw we reported a couple of weeks ago that there is a conflict between the information that Mueller has obtained from Corsi`s communications. And he said today that he turned over to two computers and all his e-mails and texts and in there were some communications to Robert -- to Roger Stone, his associate that suggested that Corsi he had advanced knowledge that WikiLeaks had obtained John Podesta`s e-mails.
Now, Corsi told us and he testified before the grand jury that his story was he didn`t have advanced knowledge, he had no back channel to WikiLeaks. He simply made an educated guess based on reading the earlier leaked e- mails, the DNC e-mails that John Podesta`s e-mails were not in there and therefore WikiLeaks must be holding those for an October Surprise. So no one else who has read those e-mails has made that same assumption believes that. And so that -- it looks like Mueller`s team is having a hard time putting two and two together. They believe he`s not telling the truth and they`re going to charge him.
Now, obviously, Chris, there`s a lot we don`t know here because we`re getting a story from essentially witnesses in defendants. And where Roger Stone fits into this weather he`s going to be charged, he says he expects to be indicted, that remains to be seen.
HAYES: Yes, Natasha, what do you -- I mean Corsi is an unreliable narrator to say the least. He`s the father of the birther conspiracy theory or one of the sort of main founders of it. He`s worked for Infowars which you can`t trust at all anything they say. Like what -- how do you -- how are you assessing this given the source of it?
NATASHA BERTRAND, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: So my initial reaction was to be extremely skeptical because as you said he was the D.C. bureau chief of Infowars, if there is even is such a position. And he also when he was talking on his radio program about the fact or the idea that he was going to be indicted by Mueller, he said please donate to my legal defense fund. He kind of tacked on at the end that he was asking his supporters for money. So this could all be one big stuns and I know that at least one associate of Roger Stone told me that he does believe it`s a stunt.
But there is the reporting that Ken did last month for NBC saying that he did expect to be indicted and saying that there were discrepancies between what he had told the grand jury and perhaps what Mueller had actually found in his e-mails and phone records. But you know, this does not bode well for Roger Stone because Stone has already changed his House Intelligence Committee testimony three times as I reported earlier this month just to keep up with the new reporting that has come out about his conversation and communications with WikiLeaks and Julian Assange and everything that was going on just in the in the run-up to the 2016 election.
So now that we know that Mueller really has Corsi right where he wants him, it remains to be seen whether or not Corsi is going to decide to flip and plead guilty or whether he`s going to just be used to setting an example for people who you know, like stone have either changed their testimony multiple times or who plan to mislead or lie to Mueller`s investigators.
HAYES: You know, Ken, I wanted to play this bit of Corsi`s long live stream today because it struck me as is really telling about what he says and how sort of lawyered to this. Take a listen to what he had to say.
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CORSI: I want everybody to know that best of my recollection, I never met Julian Assange. That`s my recollection. I did not have anyone who connected me to Julian Assange. Best of my recollection, what I knew in advance about what Julian Assange was going to do in terms of having the Podesta e-mails I figured it out.
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HAYES: "Best of my recollection" comes up four times there. That seems significant.
DILANIAN: And Roger Stone was being similarly lawyerly when he said to us today it`s possible to take individual communications out of context and create a false impression to the grand jury such a case would be weak and would fail. Anybody who`s watched the Mueller investigation knows those aren`t the kind of cases that Robert Mueller brings. And Chris, let`s back up. Why should we care about these ancillary figures in this investigation? The reason is because the endgame here is Mueller`s trying to figure out whether there was a channel between the Russians through WikiLeaks to the Trump campaign.
Therefore whether there was a conspiracy among members of the Trump campaign and these minor figures who had ties to the Trump campaign whether they had advance knowledge that the Russians had stolen the e-mails and we`re using them right to manipulate the election. That`s the goal here and Mueller is hoping that these people who lead him in that direction.
HAYES: Right. And these people, Corsi and Stone appear to be people who are at least suspected to have been part of that channel should it exist. Another piece of important news I wanted to get to today, Natasha, and that`s Matt Whittaker who`s now the Acting Attorney General United States. He has been under tremendous criticism from across ideological spectrum about the nature of his appointment possibly being unconstitutional and his possible conflicts and the fact that he`s on the record basically running down the Mueller investigation.
Key thing from the DOJ spokesperson Kerry Kupec today, I`m going to read it to you. Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker fully -- is fully committed to following all appropriate processes and procedures at the Department of Justice including consulting with senior ethics officials on his oversight responsible -- responsibilities and matters that may warrant recusal. What do you think of that?
BERTRAND: So the DOJ, this is not actually a brand new statement. This has been there lying for the past couple of days. It was buried in a BuzzFeed report released I think yesterday. So this is something that they`ve been telling reporters. But it`s important to remember that just because he asks the DOJ for this guidance does not mean that he`s obligated to follow that advice. He can completely ignore it if he wants to. We don`t know if he`s actually going to do that because there`s never been a situation like this where an acting Attorney General steps into the Department and has such a clear conflict of interest.
But I would imagine that before he was appointed to this position, he must have had some kind of conversation with Trump saying I`m not going to recuse myself from this investigation. It would be impossible to believe that they did not have that conversation given the entire fiasco that happened with the first Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
HAYES: Ken, what do you think?
DILANIAN: The thing about these ethics rules, Chris, is there`s a lot of wiggle room. Even if he`s advised that he probably should recuse himself, there -- it`s very rare that the rules say you must.
DILANIAN: And it`s not clear that any of this stuff, the appearance of impartiality, him knowing Sam Clovis, a witness in the case, it`s not clear that that requires his recusal. It`s only clear that most people who`ve ever held this job or any other senior job in the government probably would recuse in this situation.
HAYES: All right, Ken Dilanian and Natasha Bertrand, thank you both for joining me. The Midterm Election is still being counted, yet 2020 is already underway. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is now openly discussing her thoughts about a potential run and she joins me to talk about it next.
HAYES: Six days after the midterm election and some Democrats are already talking 2020. West Virginia State Senator Richard Ojeda (ph) lost his House bid last week and announced a White House bid today.
Senator Sherrod Brown won a third senate term in Ohio last week carrying a state that Donald Trump won in the last election. Today, he told the Columbus Dispatch he`s thinking about running. And here`s what Senator Kirsten Gillibrand said on The View this morning.
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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You have another, how many years left on your term as a senator?
SEN. KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND, (D) NEW YORK: Six, six more years.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Six more years.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK, are you staying in the senate or are you going to run for president?
GILLIBRAND: Well, I`m obviously dedicate today serving New Yorkers, but that is a very important moral question that I`ve been thinking about.
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HAYES: And joining me now, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Democrat from New York. She has a new book out called "Bold and Brave: Ten Heroes Who Won the Women the Right to Vote. It is a children`s book, if I`m not mistaken. I`m excited to give it to my daughter. She`s very much into this genre.
So, you said this morning you were considering thinking about the question of running for president.
HAYES: And I`m always curious what does that mean in real terms? Like what are you thinking about? What`s going through your mind?
GILLIBRAND: Well, to me it`s really a moral question and I do believe that -- I believe in right versus wrong, and unfortunately up until this election I really believed that wrong was winning. And so as I travel the state, as I travel the country, I really saw the response and the effect of all the hate that Donald Trump has put into this country over the last two years. And it`s so disturbing.
And it`s really called me personally to fight as hard as I possibly can to restore that moral compass, because the truth is this country was founded on really core principles that we care about one another, that we believe in the golden rule, that you should fight for other people`s kids as hard as you fight for your own. And I feel that that`s been crumbling and lost under this presidency.
So I`ve been thinking about it. And I am going to reflect on whether this is something that I should do because I feel like all of us have to decide what we`re going to do to restore what`s been lost. And I just have to think where I can do that best from.
HAYES: So, what is that calculation? I mean, there`s a moral question, there`s a bunch of tactical questions, a bunch of organizational questions. What`s the sorts of yes/no threshold?
GILLIBRAND: So, for me it`s whether this is what I need to be doing. It`s sort of, you know, are you prepared in a time such as this to do something that`s very hard and difficult, regardless of whether you will win, regardless of whether it`s easy, but you`re doing it because out of that moral conviction.
And so for me the sole thing I have to consider that I have to think long and hard about is whether this is what I`m called to do. And otherwise, I just -- you know, I will continue to fight as hard as I can for New Yorkers and be a voice for them in Washington and fight for the middle class families that are desperate and need health care as a right and all the other issues that are pressing on families in my state.
HAYES: It`s interesting -- so you talk about the sort of moral degradation of this -- two years of the presidency. And I think there are sort of different ways of viewing both this presidency and what the kind of defining issue going into 2020 is. One is this president, this individual, represents something particularly insidious for America, for American politics. And the other, which was kind of the way that a lot of people ran in this midterm was running against basically the Republican agenda, like it was there were running against Paul Ryan even though Donald Trump was the top of the ticket.
What do you think of those two avenues?
GILLIBRAND: But it`s also about what you`re for. So, if you believe in this moral compass, if you believe in this core value that we should care about one another, that we are our brother`s keeper, that you should treat others the way you want to be treated, that`s why we fight for health care as a right and not a privilege. It`s why we want good early childhood education for every child no matter which block they grew up on or universal pre-K, or good public schools, or debt free college. It`s that why anybody who wants to be working full-time should have that training, whatever the training is, to get them that full-time job so they can earn their way into the middle class.
Because fundamentally we believe the constitutional democracy we have was meant that anyone should be able to reach the American dream -- life, liberty, pursuit of happiness for all.
So, that is why the moral frame is so important, because everything you`re fighting for, your vision of what America should look like is so different.
But the one issue, Chris, that I think is so encompassing is you have to get the money out of politics. You can`t achieve any of these basic rights, these basic protections until you take on the drug companies. You can`t get to universal health care that`s affordable unless you take on the drug companies, unless you take on the insurance companies. You can`t build the kind of support that people need until you take on the special interests.
So, the best thing we could do is focus on getting money out of politics, having publicly funded elections, restoring voting rights. I mean, we`re seeing what`s happening in Georgia, what`s happening in Florida, what`s happening across this country where our right to vote is being fundamentally undermined.
HAYES: There is talk about the House Democrats bringing that up as a first bill, some sort of strengthening the Voting Rights Act, automatic voter registration nationwide. What do you think about that?
GILLIBRAND: Well, we should, because we should have automatic voting. We should be able to have same day registration, early voting. You should be able to mail in a ballot no matter what at any time.
HAYES: By the way, New York is terrible on all of this.
GILLIBRAND: Terrible, terrible. And so we need to...
HAYES: I say it as a New York voter.
GILLIBRAND: Yeah, and we need proper redistricting. In 2020, you need to have nonpartisan redistricting by a commission, not by, you know, governors and legislatures who all decide different things and almost always is still political. That`s wrong.
So we need to restore our democracy to the people. It`s about what this democracy is supposed to stand for and with all the attacks on voting rights, it`s not one person one vote. With all the attacks on money and politics, people with money have an out-sized influence, the special interests, the bills written in the dark of night. It never ends.
HAYES: Let me he ask you a New York question. Chuck Schumer a senior senator from your state. I would imagine you would call him a friend and an ally and a colleague. You know, a lot of people -- there is all this Nancy Pelosi -- like everyone gets the Nancy Pelosi question in every House race. Are you going to vote for her for speaker.
No one ever talks about Chuck Schumer. But, you know, it seems to me a legitimate question, like are you -- do you have confidence in Chuck Schumer leadership ability?
GILLIBRAND: I do. And I`m definitely voting for Senator Schumer.
HAYES: You think he`s the right man at the right time?
GILLIBRAND: I do. And he`s made a difference already. I mean, he fully understands the type of things we need to move forward for this country. I think he`s going to marshal as best he can health care votes, education votes, jobs votes, things that actually help people. And I think he`s committed to it.
HAYES: Final question. There is a report, and I wanted to ask you this because I know that you have put a lot of energy towards veteran issues in your work in the senate. There is a report about 82,000 service members right now due to basically technical screw ups at the VA, have not gotten payments for housing through the GI bill, it`s been massively deleterious to their lives. This was a kind of thing that Trump and others...
GILLIBRAND: They promised to fix and they have not. Unfortunately our VA has been under-funded a very long time and the morass and the backlog continue to harm our veterans. I do, in my office, we work for veterans all the time trying to get them payments deserved, benefits that were earned, making sure they can get their medals if they never had them. We`re been working night and day to try to get blue water Navy veterans since I`ve been elected to the House, like for over 10 years, the basic health care they deserve because they deserve served during Vietnam and were exposed to all the agent orange toxins, but don`t get treated like anybody else because they happened to be on a ship or an aircraft that was also -- you know, they not only took the water and drank it, but they bathed in it and cooked in it which we now know concentrated those toxins.
And so our veterans need a voice, and so I will try very hard, as will my colleagues, to make sure we fix the problems at the VA so they can get their housing and get their benefits.
HAYES: All right, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand whose new book is "Bold and Brave: Ten Heroes Who Women the Right to Vote." Thanks so much for joining us.
GILLIBRAND: Thank you.
HAYES: The president takes a rain check twice instead of honoring America`s veterans. Congressman Rubin Gallego who served in Iraq joins me next.
HAYES: President Trump traveled 3,800 miles to Paris for ceremonies marking the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. But when he was expected at a American cemetery just 50 miles from Paris on Saturday, he was a no-show because it was raining.
White House said his helicopter was grounded due to the weather, so rather than get there via motorcade, the president sat out the weather at the American ambassador`s residence in Paris while his chief of staff John Kelly and the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff honored those fallen Americans.
President Trump`s failure to show up prompted widespread ridicule from Winston Churchill`s grandson calling it pathetic and inadequate, to the French army tweeting that rain is their Monday motivation.
But the American president had other opportunities, like the solemn stroll of world leaders, to the Arc de Triumph on Sunday, a procession that he missed. He showed up to the ceremony separately. And then there was the event at another American cemetery in the suburbs of Paris where he made snarky comments about the weather while welcoming veterans and honored guests.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Frank Devita. Thank you, Frank. Thank you very much. You look so comfortable up there under shelter, as we are getting drenched. You`re very smart people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Doesn`t like the rain.
The president returned to the United States and today when Veteran`s Day is observed, a day when presidents traditionally visit Arlington National Cemetery to pay respects on behalf of the nation, President Trump, who had literally nothing on his official public schedule, decided to stay at home and tweet about stopping the vote in Florida instead.
Congressman Ruben Gallego of Arizona, an Iraq War veteran, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, joins me now.
What do you make of the last 48 hours in the president`s observances?
REP. RUBEN GALLEGO, (D) ARIZONA: I mean, how are we still surprised about this? This man started this election by denigrating the service of John McCain and other POWs. We see what he`s doing with our troops at the border, essentially using them as props. He attacked a gold star family.
You know, the president likes to use the troops for his political gain, but when it comes to personal sacrifice or any type of effort on his part, he won`t go that extra mile. And thank god our military is not anything like that man is.
HAYES: You know, you just mentioned the troops are at the border, 5,000 of them. There is some reporting on what they`re actually doing. They`re eating MREs. They`re inside 20-28 inside a tent. And they`re 800 miles from the caravan. And they`re not even near Tijuana where they`re apparently going to enter.
Like, those are real people who are really doing this, that`s not just some abstract symbol. What do you think about it?
GALLEGO: Look, I have been activated. And, you know, sent to a base for a whole year and, you know, at that point it really did -- does disrupt your life. We just disrupted many people`s lives. We took them away from their families. We`re taking them away for Thanksgiving.
All of a sudden the president stopped talking about the caravan. Why did the president stop talking about the caravan? Because the election is over.
So, this is a stunt. It`s costing us potentially $200 million for this stunt. And, you know, I think we all agree that we need more border security. We all agree that if you want to apply for asylum, you need to do it in the legal and safe manner.
But the president should actually lead an effort to do that to work with our southern neighbors and even to work with us to actually come up with a solution, not just use our political troops as a stunt and actually focus on really trying to help them out.
HAYES: I want to ask you about this story I asked Senator Gillibrand about, about this GI benefit screw up.
Ongoing IT issues at VA, this is to be kind of a train wreck, that`s what Phil Roe said, the chairman on the House Committee on Veterans Affairs. You have got folks who cannot make their house payments or rental payments because of this. How is this -- how is this happening?
GALLEGO: Look, as a recipient of the GI Bill, this actually also happened to me as a younger man. And once in a while I just did not get my payment.
GALLEGO: And luckily I had a school that was very lenient and they understood and they gave me some time till I got paid.
But what happens right now is the president is not focused on the VA. The VA is not really being run by the VA administrator, it`s by a group men and men that are meeting down at Mar-a-Lago. There is no expertise. And this needs to be true folks.
This will affect people`s credit scores. People are going to get kicked out of their homes. I`ve already been reading stories about it. At the same time, I think this is also a really good opportunity for, you know, private industry and banks. You know, we bailed out banks back in 2008. Maybe they could actually step up and actually give these veterans a little help in the meantime, considering they know the GI Bill is going to come in. Eventually they are going to get paid. And let`s help them so they don`t end up getting evicted.
HAYES: Final question, the president has never visited American service members stationed overseas, particularly in fields of combat. And it`s notable he said he was too busy to do that, though he has time for rallies and for tweeting Fox and Friends. What do you think of that?
GALLEGO: For me it`s disturbing. Like when I was in Iraq, and you know, we saw a lot of combat. And I unfortunately lost a lot of friends, it was important that members of congress and senators came and visited us in the field so we had an opportunity for them to talk and they could actually see the impacts of war.
I think the president is avoiding his duty by not visiting the troops overseas. I`m not saying he has to be in the frontline. God knows we never want to do that to any president. But even Abraham Lincoln would be visiting some of the Civil War fields in the middle of a Civil War, exposing himself to potential danger for the -- against the Confederacy.
The president could at least get on Air Force One and go visit them in Afghanistan or, for example, in Iraq or portions of Kuwait where we still have a lot of active troops that go in Iraq.
There`s a lot of ways he could do this. It is a very symbolic thing, but it is very important, and it does matter to our troops overseas.
HAYES: All right, Congressman Ruben Gallego, thank you so much.
GALLEGO: Thank you for having me.
HAYES: Deadly wildfire still raging across California as the president threatens to pull federal funding. That`s coming up.
HAYES: We have some exciting news here at All In. This week, we will record our first ever live episode of our podcast "Why is This Happening?" with my special guest Ta-Nehisi Coates. And you can be there, too. The recording is Sunday, November 18 in Brooklyn. Tickets are on sale right now and include a copy of Ta-Nehisi`s book "We Were Eight Years in Power." For more details, go to our All In with Chris Hayes Facebook page where you will find the link for tickets.
HAYES: California is still burning. Record-breaking wildfires have now killed 31 people, 29 of those people at the Camp Fire (ph) in northern California. And officials there expect to find more bodies as they continue their grim search.
Still, that did not stop the president from blaming and threatening Californians writing, quote, "so many lives lost, all because of gross mismanagement of the forests. Remedy now or no more fed payments."
Within the past hour, the president relented on that threat and approved disaster funding for California.
I want to bring in L.A. Times state policy and politics reporter Liam Dillon, who wrote this week about the destruction of the town of Paradise; and Kendra Pierre-Louis, a reporter on The New York Times climate team who recently wrote about why California has so many wildfires.
Let me start with you in California. You wrote about Paradise, and you wrote about the sort of scope of this devastation. This is outside of the bounds even for California of what it`s used to.
LIAM DILLON, L.A. TIMES: This is absolutely a horrific fire, the most destructive wildfire in the state`s recent memory, 6,700 properties, including 6,500 homes. And so this is really outside of the bounds of what we`ve seen sort of overtaking over what the most destructive fire was in recent memory last year when there were big fires in wine country. And I tell you, I was up there over the weekend, and I have never seen anything like it, smoke for you could barely see five feet in front of you when you`re driving on some of the highways and some of the areas were really hard to bare.
HAYES: Why? Why is this so bad, Kendra?
KENDRA PIERRE-LOUIS, THE NEW YORK TIMES: It`s a combination of things. California has always had fires, but as more people move into what`s known as the wild land/urban interface, sort of the space between wild areas and where we set up cities, we ignite more sparks, and that sets off more fires.
And the other reason obviously is climate change. California is 2 degrees warmer right now than it`s supposed to be.
PIERRE-LOUIS: Northern California hasn`t gotten the rains that are traditionally expected to sort of happen in October. And so when the Santa Anas started coming in and bringing in even dryer air, all that -- all it needed was a spark to set everything off, and it did.
HAYES: Yeah, we`re getting hotter and dryer conditions, which is going to produce this.
There is also, Liam, I got the wonder about the social effect of this. I mean, mass fires like this that take out hundreds and hundreds of structures of the kinds of things that we kind of left behind in urban centers in America with the creation of fire codes and things like that. And here we have -- you know, there`s thousands and thousands of people evacuated now. What are the knock-on effects of that?
DILLON: Yeah, there is literally entire town in northern California that is gone, the city of Paradise, 27,000 people, a retirement community, working class community, of folks in northern California. The town just doesn`t really exist anymore.
And so there are a lot of people talking about how this rebuilding effort, if they want to do it, if they even want to do it, and some folks told me they didn`t, would be rebuilding whole community and something they had never really thought of or never experienced.
And again, despite the wildfires that we`ve had in the state in recent memory, nothing like this where you`ve literally lost an entire city.
HAYES: On the forest management question, most of that, there is sort of a split between state and federal in terms of that, but my sense from what I`ve read and the experts I`ve seen, this isn`t really the issue here in terms of this.
PIERRE-LOUIS: No. First of all, neither fire actually started on forest land. So, that`s kind of a big, important thing. 57 percent of the land in California is under federal -- forested land in California is under federal control, 40 percent is either in fire -- is in either private or tribal land. Only 3 percent of the land is in state control. So, even if the land had started on a fire, it would most likely be under federal or private.
Additionally, like it`s kind of push right now to get logging into those lands, but it`s unclear to probably not helpful for helping fight the wildfires. In the case of Paradise, there was actually logging just outside of the city where the fire started in recent years. And there`s growing evidence that logging actually exacerbates wildfire for a number of reasons.
HAYES: So, the forest management thing is a sort of a crypto way of being like we should let logging in these places.
PIERRE-LOUIS: Yeah, it`s not even crypto. I mean, Zinke said as much in an op-ed in the USA Today earlier this summer.
HAYES: The president is sitting there watching the state burn and saying well we need is more logging, because that`s what -- that`s what logging interests advocate for.
PIERRE-LOUIS: Yes, but the scientific evidence suggests that logging might make wildfires worse.
HAYES: Well, that`s a really important point. Is there -- Liam, you cover politics and policy and you wonder -- obviously this is an issue California has dealt with for decades, and we`ve seen bad fires at different points. but you wonder if there is going to be a real kind of like need for real, real change in the law, the fire code, the building codes to make sure that this is not going to keep happening and keep happening worse.
DILLON: So there was a big package of wildfire legislation at the state level that passed last year. It talked a lot about the utility companies which are often blamed and are often the cause of a lot of these big fires and sort of how they are involved. And in fact, there was part of that package some sort of vegetation thinning that was part of that package as well.
The big question that no one has touch and I think for obvious reasons is whether it`s OK to rebuild or build at all in some of these more fire-prone areas. And obviously you`re dealing with property rights and people wanting to rebuild the homes that they`ve lost. And that`s obviously a very touchy political question.
HAYES: Yeah, and this is a question that is only going to intensify as climate change accelerates, and not just in California, but a whole wide spectrum of problems like this we`re going to continue the face, and they`re going get worse.
Liam Dillon and Kendra Pierre-Louis, thank you for your time.
HAYES: That is All In for this evening.
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